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Police gunfire spurs lockdown at school
By Dani Davies

Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

Thursday, May 19, 2005

BOYNTON BEACH — As children filed into Poinciana Elementary Wednesday morning, a police officer fired his gun nearby, hitting the tire of an SUV that was repeatedly ramming another car.

No one was injured in the 7:35 a.m. incident, though the Ford Explorer hit six cars as its driver tried to evade police.

A Boynton Beach crime scene investigator inspects an SUV that rammed several vehicles before an officer shot out a tire Wednesday morning.

"We got very lucky," Police Chief Marshall Gage said about the lack of injuries. "This is a case where deadly force was more than clearly authorized."

Police eventually caught and arrested the driver, Curtis Pearson, 28.

At 7:15 a.m., police were called to a domestic disturbance involving Pearson in the 100 block of Northeast Fifth Avenue, but he had driven off by the time they arrived. Officers spotted him in the 100 block of Northwest Ninth Court, but he took off, hitting a car in the intersection of Seacrest Boulevard and Northwest 10th Avenue.

Then Pearson turned the wrong way onto Northwest 13th Avenue, a one-way street next to the elementary school. Facing him in traffic was a car driven by a 64-year-old man who had just dropped off one grandchild at school and still had an 11-year-old inside.

Pearson was trapped. He rammed the man's car, trying to force him backward. As an officer watched, he rammed him again. The officer, who was within 10 feet of the car, fired one shot, hitting and flattening one of the tires. It's unclear where he was aiming.

There were about 20 people outside the school. When he fired, the officer's back was to the school, so they were not in danger of being hit, Gage said.

A coach who was outside the school noticed the commotion and hustled everyone inside. The school then went to "code red," meaning there was no movement in or out of the school for about a half hour, district spokesman Nat Harrington said. "It worked perfectly, just like we practiced it," Harrington said.

Gage would not name the officer involved and said department officials had not been able to question him after the shooting. The officer was placed on an automatic three-day paid administrative leave. There will be no internal affairs review of the incident, as the use of force appears justified and within departmental policy, Gage said.

Pearson forced his way past the grandfather's car and headed west, hitting three more parked cars and one patrol car. He bailed out of the car but ran around the corner of a house and came face-to-face with a police sergeant with his gun drawn.

Pearson faces multiple charges, including two counts of aggravated battery, fleeing and eluding and leaving the scene of an accident. He has been arrested 17 times in Palm Beach County since 1995, state records show. He was injured last May when he was hit in the buttocks and thigh during a drive-by shooting.
 

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Ahhhh, good old Boynton Beach... haven't been to the family house in a while...

I miss frosty beverages served by the Banana Boat on the intercoastal.
 

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ShakeEmDOwn016";p="65248 said:
Ahhhh, good old Boynton Beach... haven't been to the family house in a while...

I miss frosty beverages served by the Banana Boat on the intercoastal.
I was just there on Saturday, can't beat their Happy Hour!!!!
 
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